Lottery Ticket Purchases by Age: Who Buys the Most?

Lottery Ticket Purchases by Age

People who have lower incomes are the ones that buy the vast majority of lottery tickets. That’s a well-known fact we can easily explain. Those who are economically disadvantaged are the people most hopeful that the lottery would turn their life around. When it comes to age groups, however, can we determine if older or younger people rely the most on the lottery?

Now’s the time to make your guess before moving on to the rest of the article. Are you ready to guess who likes the lottery the most? Yes? Let’s move forward with the actual results.

Older People Buy the Most Lottery Tickets

A very, very interesting study in the UK examined the financial behaviors and habits of people aged 55 or older. The creators of the study reached some pretty interesting conclusions.

According to the study, 76 percent of people in that age group play the games offered by the National Lottery.

Most people who play the lottery know that the chances of winning the biggest prizes are slim. For the UK Lotto, the number is one in 45,057,474. Still, older people are convinced that the lottery could be one of the ways to turn their lives around and save for their retirement.

There aren’t that many reliable sources of information for other international lotteries and the age groups that spend the most on tickets. Looking around, we’ve managed to come across some demographic profiles from the US that concern Powerball and Mega Millions players.

A 2017 Gallup survey shows that 49 percent of adults in the US buy lottery tickets. Hence, this is the most popular form of gambling in the country.

Men are more likely to buy lottery tickets than women, and black people spend more on average than any other demographic group. The US study, however, disproves the findings of the UK study when it comes to the age of people who are interested in the most in games of luck.

According to US statistics, younger people buy a far more significant number of tickets than older folks.

The Journal of Gambling Studies published a report that shows 69 percent of individuals aged 31 to 40 bought lottery tickets regularly. In comparison, those aged 61 and older had only 54 percent of the population acquiring tickets.

For people aged 70 and older, the number went down even further – 45 percent of the population.

But Wait, It Gets More Interesting!

While statistics paint an optimistic picture for the lotteries because young people are interested, recent news headlines have told a different story.

In 2017, the US national lottery operators expressed their concerns about the number of millennials buying lottery tickets.

Millennials or Generation Y are the people born from the early 1980s to the mid-1990s. These people are currently active adults, and their purchasing ability is highly determining for the survival of numerous economic sectors.

A CNBC report from February 2017 showed that young Americans are losing their interest in playing the lottery. During the year, overall lottery ticket sales increased in comparison to results for previous comparable periods. The number of millennials playing, however, went down.

The report showed that only a third of Americans aged 18 to 29 buy lottery tickets. Yes, that number is so vastly different from the percentage presented above! The study also suggested that 61 percent of people in the 50 to 64 age group bought lottery tickets regularly, which made them very different from their children and grandchildren.

According to the report, the reduction in millennial lotto ticket purchases is significant.

In 2003, 39 percent of young people used to buy lottery tickets regularly. Since then, the likelihood of lotto ticket purchases has gone up for all age groups apart from millennials.

Psychologists have their explanation for the phenomenon.

Millennials are people who are used to a fast-paced life. They live in a digital world that ensures quick and immediate access to entertainment, information, educational opportunities, and even money-making possibilities. Hence, millennials do not want to wait a few days for a drawing to find out if they’ve won anything from Powerball or Mega Millions.

The problem is furthered by the fact that many American lottery operators are hindered by laws that prohibit online lottery ticket sales. This is a distinct possibility for attracting younger players. In the absence of a technological solution, however, millennials and the generations coming after them are playing the lottery less often.

Age Profile of a Lottery Winner

As you can see, the information about the age of passionate lottery players is ambiguous. Some say young people buy many tickets; some say they’re not interested in the lottery at all. It’s up to you to draw your conclusions and decide which studies you’re going to trust.

There’s one more interesting element, however, that we haven’t tackled yet.

That element is the average age of lottery winners.

After all, it’s not about how many tickets you buy and how often. It’s about how likely you’re to win.

According to statistics from America, 64 percent of lottery winners are aged 50 and older. Once again, those who have reached their golden years lead the chart and surpass the look of younger fellas (and ladies).

A Kaplan study came to disprove claims that lottery players are generally financially disadvantaged and belonging to poorer segments of society. The study examined people who had won massive amounts. It turned out that many of these winners were middle class and they had solid income. It also became clear, however, that winners were older than the general population. It’s also interesting to point out that the gender ratio of lottery millionaires was 60 percent men to 40 percent women.

So there you go – it seems that the evidence is more in favor of mature people giving the lottery a try. Is it luck, is it wisdom that guides their efforts? We don’t know, but we sure do hope that some things like the lottery do get better with age.

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